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Remembered Today:

Possible Non-Com


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I have a chap who enlisted with the 11th Royal West Kent's but died before the battalion embarked overseas. He is mentioned in the battalion history but I cant find any entry on SDGW or CWGC.

I have found his entry on the BMD but it is possible he died before the 11th were taken over by the war office in late November 1915. My question is would he still be eligible for recognition?

I am at the local archive centre soon and I am planning to do some more research into this chap before taking it further,

regards Stuart.

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Hywyn,

All I have is the info from the battalion history and the BMD index.

L/Cpl Alfred G Cowley who died aged 21 in the last quarter of 1915 in Lewisham. I've done a search of the local cemeteries but havn't found him yet.

Stuart

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Name:Alfred Gregory CowleyEstimated Birth Year:abt 1894Age at enlistment:21Document Year:1915

Regimental Number:8408Regiment Name:11th Lewsham Battalion Royal West Royal RegimentNumber of images:9

Hi Stuart, Theres pension papers for this chap. seems to be discharged Oct 15.

Sorry got that back to front.

WJ

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Hywyn and WJ

Thats him without a doubt, thank-you very much. I'm afraid I dont have access.

Stuart.

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Looks like TB. PM me your email?

Hywyn

Hywyn PM sent, many thanks,

Stuart

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There are a few pages of pension record on Ancestry.

It looks as if he was examined on 18.8.1915 when TB was found in his sputum.

oops. sorry I am too slow.

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Susan,

Thanks for the info. He was an early enlistment into the 11th and an acomplished artist by all accounts, using his skills to design recruiting posters for the battalion.

Stuart.

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His occupation is given as "Atist"

Have you got his records? - would you like them.

PM if I can help.

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The reason for discharge was not likely to become an efficient soldier.

On first reading through it appears likely he was suffering from TB when he enlisted and this was the cause of his discharge.

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Hello Stuart,

I go with CGM, which would tend to rule him out as a Non-comm, as if he did die of TB, it would be neither caused, nor aggravated by service.

He would definitely be worth looking up in the local paper next time you are in Lewisham, especially if he was an artist of note locally.

I have a feeling that he is the A Cowley on the memorial at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Catford (in Sangley Road). Dave Swarbrick is researching this memorial.

Phil

post-20576-0-00563000-1300225064.jpg

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Thanks to everybody for their input.

Phil, I'm at Lewisham library this Saturday so I'll see what I can find. I know you've done quite a bit of local research so if you come across anything it would be appreciated,

Stuart.

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Stuart,

1901 and 1911, the family were in the East End.

He landed at Ellis Island, New York on 13th March 1915 from the "Arabic", apparently to visit his Aunt in Doylestown, Philadelphia. Home address is Leyton. He arrived back in the UK aboard the "Philadelphia" on 16th May 1915. Home address on arrival is Rushey Green.

I can't see him on the MI's for Ladywell & Brockley. There is a large Catholic area in the Brockley half. There is also a Catholic section at Hither Green.

I'll PM Dave and point him in this direction to see if he has anything from Holy Cross.

Phil

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Just for the record the A. G. Cowley on the Holy Cross memorial was Albert George Cowley, a driver in the 67th Battery, RFA no. 53168 who died on 13th December 1916, so not your man I'm afraid.

Dave Swarbrick

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Thanks Dave,

One of his service sheets has R/C at the top, which I took to mean he was Roman Catholic. What would you put the chances of two Catholic A G Cowley's in Lewisham?

Phil

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OK - just for the record part 2 - I'm now not sure - I've been back through my notes and I now am beginning to believe that I have got this wrong. I found the CWGC entry for Albert George Cowley, found his family in Deptford in 1911, not a million miles away from Catford, and there were others known to have made that move. I then found an entry in the local paper detailing A. G. Cowley of Rushey Green [in Catford] enlisting in the RWK. I could find no MIC for an A. G. Cowley serving with the RWK, nor any record of his death on CWGC or SWDW. So - and here comes the mistake - I presumed that A.G.Cowley had transferred to the RA and that he was the same man as I had previously identified. There are no records of Cowley entries in the registers of Holy Cross, which began in 1905, too late for any relevant baptisms.

If the A. G. Cowley who enlisted in the RWK in July 1915 was a Catholic, and if he is a non-com death - then he is probably the man on the Holy Cross memorial - and I'm the careless idiot with egg on his face, in which case apologies all round, especially to the two Cowley families.

A rather humbled,

Dave Swarbrick

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Dave,

That's life.

It's hardly a common name and to have the same initials as well.........

I did check out the Deptford man quickly and he was married at St Lukes (C of E), Deptford.

I don't know if Alfred's whole family moved to Catford. There are plenty of street directories in Lewisham Library, Stuart, so you should be able to check.

Phil

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Dave, I've replied to your P.M

Phil, I'm hoping to find an obituary with a bit of luck.

I have wondered about A. G. Cowley for some time but when I checked the Kentish Mercury, nothing. I see the Lewisham Library Archives hold some of the "local" newspapers that focus more on Lewisham & Catford for that period, which I am hoping may hold the answer.

Stuart.

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A trawl through the local newspapers at Lewisham Archives reveals an obituary for Alfred G Crowley formerly of the 11th Battalion in the Catford Journal dated 12th November 1915.

He is buried in the Roman Catholic section of Hither Green Cemetery and was given a full military funeral with band, drums and a firing party from his old company.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread,

Stuart.

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Found this when looking for something totally different (as you do).

From HANSARD 1st March 1916

Mr. ANDERSON asked how many of the 2,770 soldiers invalided out of the Service in 1915 on account of tuberculosis were found under the terms of the Royal Warrant to be entitled to a pension; and how many were not so entitled?

Mr. TENNANT 1,641 were awarded pensions and 1,129 claims were not accepted.

CGM

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Stuart,

I had a good search through the RC section at Hither Green today, but as I feared, found nothing. Lewisham are not reknowned for the care of their cemeteries. If you can get a plot number some time, I may be able to narrow it down.

His grave is probably somewhere in the area shown in the photo, but all the stones have been disturbed, broken, buried or removed.

Phil

post-20576-0-93230200-1300637200.jpg

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Phil,

Thats a shame but thanks for taking the time to have a look around, it's much appreciated

Stuart.

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